It was a gorgeous autumn Saturday during one of my son’s soccer games, when a friend told me, “You have to remove the obstacles in your life that prevent you from reaching your goal.” I had no idea what was going on with the game, I heard cheering, but I was focused on the voice on the other end of the phone. “Do you know which obstacles are holding you back?” I scanned my list of obstacles, I came up with two lists: 1. The things I’m not willing to give up, like parenting, and my relationship, and 2., the things I can’t give up, such as sleep, work and exercise.
I realized that nothing concrete-no good excuse- was keeping me from turning my passion into something successful. I said, “I have time to work on my writing, but I’m scared to take it seriously.” He said, “I wish you could see yourself the way I do.” I replied, “I know, my insecurities hold me like chains. I’m afraid of failure, and success.” He said, “I can’t help you with that one Ms. Shannon. You have to want it bad enough, to the point of not letting anything else stand in your way.” I knew he was right, and for me that meant being able to give up the outcome. Didn’t someone famous say, “Before you can succeed, you have to be willing to fail?”
By refusing to change, I lose nothing, other than what I may have gained, (which could be a lot,) but I also risk missing out on the person I could potentially become. I want to be able to accept my gifts and talents, even if it means failing at my first attempt. I know the only way for me to do this is to ascend beyond my distortion, and self-doubt. I have to be willing to, as Steve Jobs said, “Say no 1000 times before saying yes.” Say no to my fears 1000 times before I say yes, if that’s what it takes to get me there. I want the “Yes” moments to happen, and somewhere inside me knows I can do this. I can quell my insecurities by saying, “Yes, I’m willing to let go of what may or may not become of my writing.”
This is hard business for me, but I want to give myself a chance, and what I’ve learned is that I can’t do it alone. I’ve tried it my way and I let myself down over and over again. I’m ready to try something different even though it doesn’t feel safe, but I’m out of options. I know I’m not privy to the full story, and that the universe does, in some way, play a huge roll in my life. I have to put my faith in something other than myself because I’m fallible.
I’m squeezing my eyes shut and rolling with the turmoil inside, but I’m saying goodbye. My hand is drifting as I pull away from my torturer, who keeps me safe. She’ll be there when I need to hide, but first, I’ll try falling into the arms of world.